BroadcastersGrowthNewsBBC iPlayer Serves 3.6bn Programmes in 2018

December saw a total of 298 million requests, with an average of 9.6m requests per day.
VOD Pro News7 months ago7 min

BBC iPlayer served 3.6 billion TV programmes to UK audiences according to new figures released by the corporation today. The most popular show of the year was Bodyguard, with the first episode becoming BBC iPlayer’s biggest ever programme, with 10.8 million requests across the year. All six episodes of the thrilling drama appear in iPlayer’s top ten programmes of the year.  Smash hit Killing Eve came a close second with 9.2m requests for episode one, followed by global thriller McMafia, with 4.7m requests.

BBC iPlayer’s top ten programmes (per series) in 2018 were:

Rank

Programme

Episode

Requests

1

Bodyguard

Series 1 – episode 1

10,842,000

2

Killing Eve

Series 1 – Nice Face

9,235,000

3

McMafia

Series 1 – episode 1

4,741,000

4

Doctor Who

Series 11 – The Woman Who Fell to Earth

3,965,000

5

Keeping Faith

Series 1 – episode 1

3,927,000

6

The Cry

Series – episode 1

3,496,000

7

Dynasties

Series 1 – Chimpanzee

3,447,000

8

Our Girl

Nigeria, Belize & Bangladesh Tours – episode 1

3,422,000

9

Bing

Episode 78

3,177,000

10

Match of the Day

Quarter-Final: Sweden v England

3,153,000

BBC iPlayer’s top ten programmes (per episode) of the year were:

Rank

Programme

Episode

Requests

1

Bodyguard

Series 1 – episode 1

      10,842,000

2

Killing Eve

Series 1 – Nice Face

         9,235,000

3

Bodyguard

Series 1 – episode 2

         7,298,000

4

Bodyguard

Series 1 – episode 3

         7,120,000

5

Bodyguard

Series 1 – episode 4

         6,548,000

6

Bodyguard

Series 1 – episode 5

         5,898,000

7

Killing Eve

Series 1 – I’ll Deal With Him Later

         4,943,000

8

Killing Eve

Series 1 – Don’t I Know You?

         4,846,000

9

Bodyguard

Series 1 – episode 6

         4,845,000

10

Killing Eve

Series 1 – Sorry Baby

         4,839,000

Across the year, BBC iPlayer added new and classic box sets as part of its experimentation to make programmes available for longer than 30 days. Live restart via the green button was also introduced as well as both the World Cup and Wimbledon being brought to viewers in Ultra-High Definition for the first time.

Dan McGolpin, Controller of Programming for the BBC, said: “In 2018 we saw people who use iPlayer increasing the amount of time that they spend watching programmes on it. Over the last 12 months viewers have enjoyed an increased number of box sets, along with other upgrades such as a selection of live Ultra HD programmes and increased personalisation. In a fiercely competitive market, with global streaming companies investing more and more in content, the challenge for 2019 is how to ensure that audiences can enjoy the full range and breadth of BBC programmes on iPlayer.” 

Mrs Wilson tops December

December saw a total of 298 million requests, with an average of 9.6m requests per day. The month’s best performing programme was Mrs Wilson, the bizarre and captivating real-life story which stars Ruth Wilson playing her own grandmother. The first episode got 2.1m requests and the second just under 2m, pipping The Apprentice to the top spot for the month as its Christmas Chocolate episode received 1.8 million requests. The Christmas day episode of EastEnders and the Call the Midwife Christmas special also performed well, with 1.4m and 1.3m requests respectively.

BBC iPlayer’s top ten programmes for December were:

Rank

Programme

Episode

Requests

1

Mrs Wilson

Series 1 – episode 1

2,147,000

2

Mrs Wilson

Series 1 – episode 2

1,963,000

3

The Apprentice

Series 14 – Christmas Chocolate

1,810,000

4

The Apprentice

Series 14 – Interviews

1,693,000

5

Mrs Wilson

Series 1 – episode 3

1,676,000

6

The Apprentice

Series 14 – The Final

1,614,000

7

Dynasties

Series 1 – Painted Wolf

1,445,000

8

EastEnders

25/12/2018

1,404,000

9

Strictly Come Dancing

Series 16 – The Final

1,334,000

10

Dynasties

Series 1 – Tiger

1,298,000

 Increased number of box sets

 More box sets were added to BBC iPlayer in 2018. A selection of new and classic box sets were available at Christmas, while earlier in the year BBC iPlayer added documentaries from Louis Theroux and Stacey Dooley, classic dramas like Pride and Prejudice and House of Cards, comedies like The League of Gentlemen and Miranda, and every episode of Doctor Who since the 2005 revival.

Live UHD for the first time

 In summer, BBC iPlayer ran two major trials, streaming both the World Cup and Wimbledon in Ultra-High Definition and High Dynamic Range for the first time. Fans were able to stream every BBC One match from the summer’s FIFA World Cup and every centre court match from Wimbledon, enabling them to watch the summer of sport in unprecedented quality. And they proved a hit with audiences, receiving over 1.6 million requests across the trials, with England’s quarter final match against Sweden the most popular UHD programme.

In addition to live UHD, BBC One’s landmark David Attenborough-narrated natural history series Dynasties was made also available to watch on-demand in UHD and HDR, with each episode available to watch after broadcast.

Live restart on the green button and last chance mobile notifications

New smart TV functionality was launched in July makes it even easier to restart live TV programmes with BBC iPlayer. Pressing the green button on compatible smart TVs will now immediately launch BBC iPlayer and restart the current TV show. Additionally mobile app notifications were introduced for the first time, letting users know when their downloaded programmes are about to expire.

 Public consultation

 The BBC recently launched a public consultation on its plans to reinvent BBC iPlayer – making it a destination in its own right, with box sets, live programming and archive titles that champion quality UK content and offer great programmes for longer. More information, including how to respond to the public consultation, can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/insidethebbc/howwework/accountability/consultations/bbc-iplayer-public-interest

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